The Polygon of Enterprise Despair

Companies are slowly beginning to realise the existential nature of the challenge that digital hypercompetition poses to them.

When they see the destruction wrought by disruptors on incumbents in music (Spotify), media (Google) or retail (Amazon), it’s difficult to deny that the writing on the wall is for them.

Executives are beginning to take notice: a Sloan Management Review survey found that 90% of executives anticipate their industry will be digitally disrupted to either a great or moderate extent.

But taking action is much harder. In the same study, only 44% of executives thought their company was adequately prepared for hypercompetition. Boards are bombarded with offers of advice from large vendors and consultants, but settling for panaceas like innovation studios or lipstick solutions won’t be enough to secure a company’s digital future.

Transformation needs to go deep into the business, if it’s going to be effective.

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Hammer Factories

the Internet

There is a post from 2005 by Benji Smith in the old (and now closed) Joel on Software Discussion Group. It’s titled “Why I Hate Frameworks”. But I know it as “the hammer factory” post. It’s just brilliant, even 13 years later. I am reproducing it here for posterity in case the old Joel on Software Discussion Group ever disappears.

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Modern Web Development

Rekit

Web development has evolved faster than nearly every other software engineering discipline. The pace of innovation has been relentless, and front-end developers are confronted with new frameworks, tools, and standards for “modern” web development constantly. Framework fatigue is real thing. Even the languages of the web (HTML, CSS, and ECMAScript) have gone through a major modernization effort (and the pace of change increased):

  • HTML > HTML5 > HTML 5.2
  • CSS 3 > CSS 4 + SCSS, PostCSS, autoprefixer, etc.
  • ECMAScript 5 (2009) > ECMAScript 2015, ECMAScript 2016, ECMAScript 2017, ECMAScript 2018

The positive aspects of all the “churn” in the web development ecosystem are some truly incredible innovations that have fundamentally changed web development to enable much richer, engaging, and performant web “applications”.

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Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica

Alexander Nix

A year ago I wrote about how big data, collected from social media sites, and machine learning was used to influence voting in the United States in The man least likely to succeed in politics. Collecting big data, and more specifically social data about each of us, has been described as the “new goldrush”. Yet many of us are unaware of how technology is enabling the use (and misuse) of our personal data. As a technologist I find this area fascinating and evolving rapidly.

In the article I discussed how the Trump campaign used a firm named Cambridge Analytica to identify potential voters and to influence them. It was shown that by harvesting and studying a person’s Facebook profile and “likes” researchers can know them better than their spouse.

Now, Facebook announced that it has suspended Cambridge Analytica over concerns that it and other parties improperly obtained and stored users’ personal information. Facebook admits it knew about this issue in 2015, prior to the election.

In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to us and violated our Platform Policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica, a firm that does political, government and military work around the globe.

— Facebook, “Suspending Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from Facebook”, March 16, 2018

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Turn Your Company Inside-Out for $3/mo

Citadel

I have already described the “inside out” corporation here.

It imagines a world where:

  • Corporate networks no longer exist (so VPNs and other remote access solutions are no longer needed)
  • There is no concept of “in” or “outside” the corporate network.
  • All corporate services are accessible anywhere over the Internet securely.
  • Corporate network costs are reduced appropriately.

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